Heritage Open Days (HODs) was established in 1994 as England’s contribution to the European Heritage Days and has since grown into the country’s largest heritage festival with over 40,000 volunteers every September helping to run over 5000 events across the country. HODs are an amazing opportunity to discover hidden places in England and to try out new experiences – and remember all of which are FREE to explore!

Thanks to the enthusiasm and support of many volunteers, organisations and supporters Heritage Open Days 2017 was even bigger and more diverse than our successful 2016 festival. We had nearly 80 events taking place across Winchester and the surrounding area, and the feedback from visitors was that it was ‘your best year yet’!

The festival dates for Heritage Open Days 2018 are 13th to 16th September 2018.

Official registration opens Spring 2018, but already here in Winchester we know we are going to have nearly 100 events taking place this year. Our theme for 2018 is ‘Extraordinary Women’, and will tie in with the 100th centenary celebrations of votes for women.  There will be talks, exhibitions and performances as well as the usual open houses, guided tours and tastings. We will be sharing more information here soon, but in the meanwhile if you also love Winchester’s history, architecture and culture why not join us to help coordinate and fund-raise for the 2018 Heritage Open Days.

And who are the ‘us’ I hear you ask! In 2016 and 2017 there were just a couple of volunteers who worked behind the scenes with the individual event organisers to promote and organise the festival. In 2018 we joined forces with City of Winchester Trust so that we had access to offices and an organisational structure, and at the same time we recruited more volunteers to join the team.

There are now around six of us, and we’ve got lots of ideas for this year and next. If you would like to learn more about us, or perhaps even join the team then do drop us a line via our contacts page. We’d also love to hear from you if you have a story to share about Winchester’s past, or perhaps you have taken a great photograph of our Hampshire heritage. You can share photographs and stories with us in all sorts of ways – via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Just look for the logos at the top and bottom of this page.